Living Arts 2021: An Interview With Jordan Gray


Mr. Brian Hassel

An annual tradition at West, the 2021 Living Arts show was staged in the lobby this year.

Sailor Anderson, Staff Reporter

The 2021 Downingtown West High School Living Arts Show took place on May 12th, 2021 in the Main Lobby of West.  The show featured many creative talents from students such as paintings, ceramics, 3D art, woodshop, photography, and cakes decorated from the baking class. It was a pleasant gathering in the midst of this odd school year. The faculty and students were more than happy that this show was able to be possible. Many awards were given out to various pieces by Downingtown West art teachers and guest judges.

Jordan Gray is a senior at Downingtown West and had a large presence with her pieces in the art show. An interview with her gives us a personal look into the show and her work.

How many years at West did you participate in the classes from the art/technology/FCS departments?

“All 4 years.”

What classes did you take?

“I took Art Major I freshman year, Art Major II sophomore year, AP 2D junior year, and AP Drawing senior year.”

Which was your favorite?

“My favorite was definitely AP 2D because once you reach the AP level in art you pick a theme to base your art around and you stick to it, so the whole year you are making art that you love, rather than being told what to draw and how to draw it through strict assignments. The AP Levels really aren’t much different, but the atmosphere of my junior AP class was just better and unhindered by COVID so that one would probably be my favorite out of the two only for that reason.”

Where does your inspiration for your art come from?

“The inspiration for my art comes from my life experiences, the people around me, and sometimes current events, but a lot of my inspiration I would say comes from music. Music and art are just two different ways of telling a story, so I like to extract the story from an auditory form and try to convert it into a visual form, while keeping the same core message the same.”

What type of media do you use for your pieces?

“I use all different kinds of media, acrylic paint, oil pastels, gouache, micron pen, etc…but my favorite and the one I’m probably the most well versed in is colored pencil.”

How would you describe how the art show went?

“I think the art show went perfect. It was the absolute best they could have done for the situation and honestly didn’t feel much different from other years other than the fact people were wearing masks and there weren’t any professional judges. The fact that there weren’t any judges was upsetting, but there wasn’t really much the school could do about that. All in all I thought they did a wonderful job and actually, I kind of liked it being in the lobby rather than the gym. It felt like a more fitting atmosphere.”

What is your favorite piece and why?

“My favorite piece would probably have to be one I did of my record player spinning the album Trench by Twenty One Pilots. I added mountains onto it, a building, and a river- all imagery used in promoting the album and the world the album represents. This piece is probably my favorite because I am very proud of how realistic it is and my attention to detail but I also love the image I created and how it shows that art can help you escape and take you to new places.”

Where do you see yourself and your artwork in the future?

“I hope to see art still having a huge role in my life in the future, because I don’t think I would feel fulfilled without it. Whether it’s my main job or a side gig, I hope to continue to do commissions and sell my art, whether it’s on paper, shoes, denim jackets or more.”

How would you describe your art?

“I would describe my artwork as hyper-realistic, and more recently with an added flare of surrealism. I like to blur the lines between reality and imagination, and I do so by creating impossible imagery in a photorealistic way.”

Anything else you would like to add?

“If you’d like to commission me or view my art portfolio my art account is @polarized.pen on Instagram.”

On behalf of The West Side Beat, we’d like to send out a huge thank you to everyone who made this show possible and to those who participated. It was a wonderful way to showcase our West students and their hard work from this year.